Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Largest federal employee union denounces Indiana's freedom to discriminate law

The American Federation of Government Employees, the nation's largest union representing federal workers, today denounced the new Indiana law that opens the door to state-sanctioned discrimination.

"Allowing businesses to discriminate against members of the LGBT community or anyone else is wrong, regardless of the reason. Our nation repudiated legal discrimination more than 50 years ago, and we're not going back," said Augusta Thomas, AFGE's national vice president for women's and fair practices departments.

"This is the same kind of discriminatory behavior that once targeted African Americans, when we were forced to attend separate schools, use separate bathrooms, and drink from separate water fountains than whites," Thomas said.

"Growing up in the segregated South, I experienced intolerance, bigotry and prejudice firsthand. Discrimination is a part of America's history, but we cannot allow it to be part of our future."

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed into law last week by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, allows individuals to circumvent state laws on the grounds that they contradict a person's religious beliefs. Experts say this will allow businesses to turn away customers based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or discriminate against people based on their religion.

"Laws permitting discrimination and intolerance in any form or fashion have no place in America today," AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said. "I join with the legions of people from all walks of life who are voicing their outrage at this discriminatory law and urge Indiana lawmakers to repeal this despicable action at once."

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.

SOURCE American Federation of Government Employees


Do you have a story to tell? Contact 'Let's Hear You!' and let us know!